Friday, March 25, 2011

How To Avoid Bad Trips

(This is the second half of my reposting of an article that I wrote for The first half is here.)

Everyone has heard about bad trips, but the chance that you will have a horrific bad trip that will end up in your hospitalization, insanity, or death is ridiculously tiny. The chance that you will have tough, uncomfortable feelings while on acid is probable, but also pretty easy to deal with if you know what you're doing.
  • Have an experienced tripper there with you. Voice any concerns you have to him or her and let them steer your thoughts in a positive direction. They probably have  been where you are and know how to avoid digging yourself into a hole. Bonus points if this experienced tripper is a lover or platonic friend that you feel comfortable cuddling with because really, cuddles solve all problems ever. If you don't have a hippie on hand and you start to feel like things are getting out of control, call a friend to chat. You don't even have to tell them you're on acid: just say you are home alone and got kind of freaked out and wanted someone to talk to. They will distract you and cheer you up for sure.
  • Think positively. Don't even start to ponder the death of your dog, your ex-girlfriend, or how much time you waste on the internet. If you find yourself going down this path, find something else to think about, and fast. Get away from whatever is making you uncomfortable. Transport yourself to quiet, idyllic beaches in your head. Use any other relaxation methods you can think of. On acid, you will probably get distracted easily, so if you start sweating and jumping at tiny noises, pop in a favorite Disney movie and space out to your heart's content. The first time I tripped, I had a bad experience in which I felt very paranoid, confused, hopeless, and saw some very strange things. My boyfriend recognized this, and put on some South Park and soon I was laughing uproariously and feeling ecstatic.
  • Take precautions. Surround yourself with cuddly stuffed animals, happy music, and your favorite people. Don't watch scary movies, or sad ones. I have a friend who writes positive little notes to himself like, "Have fun!" and "Isn't life beautiful?" and sometimes ties a string around his finger to remind himself that it will be over by tomorrow. Make comfort foods and surround yourself with comfort smells. Anything you can think of to inspire happy feelings in yourself cannot go to waste.
  • It is the drug. You are not going insane. Most likely, anything abnormal you see or feel is not real and will soon pass. The drug will wear out soon. You are safe. Repeat mantras like this to yourself if things start getting to be too much for you to handle.
  • Don't take more than you can handle (approximately 3 hits) on your first trip. Altered states of consciousness take getting used to, and having your mind blown all at once would probably be uncomfortable. Unlike college chugging contests, no one will think you are a pansy if you play it safe.
  • If something bad really does happen, in real life, do not hesitate to seek help. If you can't get the potato chip bag open, ask your roommate to do it and he or she will probably understand. If something embarrassing happens, it's not the end of the world. On a more serious note, if you or someone else gets injured, do not worry about getting arrested or chastised. Other things are more important. Take the proper actions. If it's necessary to call the ambulance, call them. They will ask about medication, and you need to tell them the truth. It is illegal to have acid in your possession, not to have it inside your body already, and someone providing emergency help needs to know this things, for obvious reasons. Make sure to stay calm and be helpful.
I don't mean to make you paranoid, because if LSD was really unpleasant it wouldn't be so popular. I know that this is something that a lot of people worry about, though, so I wanted to find a way to quell some concerns.

#1 Rule: Feel confident about your LSD use and your choice of companions, setting, and activities, and you will not have any problems.